* LATAM Airlines shares drop after wider-than-expected Q2
* Commodities shares support Brazil's Bovespa
* Chile's IPSA down 1.23 pct, Mexico's IPC falls 0.93 pct
By Asher Levine and Anthony Esposito
SAO PAULO/SANTIAGO, Aug 21 Chilean stocks fell
to their lowest intraday level in nearly two years on Wednesday
as shares in LATAM Airlines Group slid following news that the
company reported a steeper-than-expected quarterly loss.
Brazil's Bovespa index recovered part of the
previous session's losses, while Mexico's IPC index
slipped for the fourth session in five.
LATAM, Latin America's largest airline, reported a
net second-quarter loss of $329.8 million late Tuesday, sending
shares down by as much as 4.19 percent, their biggest intraday
decline in nearly two years.
The drop in LATAM shares contributed to a 1.23 percent drop
in Chile's benchmark IPSA index, its biggest fall in two
Chilean stocks have declined for six straight sessions,
pressured by increasing signs of slowing economic growth and
waning consumer demand in the export-dependent country.
"Even though Chile is still growing, it is doing so at a
slower pace than in recent years and that is making investors
more cautious," said Jorge Sepulveda, analyst at brokerage
EuroAmerica in Santiago.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index swung widely
in early trading, but found itself in narrowly positive
territory shortly before noon, supported by shares of state-run
oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as
Petrobras, which rose 0.9 percent.
Shares of MMX Mineração e Metálicos SA,
controlled by embattled Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, climbed
Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, Brazil's largest
diversified steelmaking group, is interested in acquiring
control of MMX from Batista, a source with direct knowledge of
the situation told Reuters on Tuesday. Another source added that
other companies may also be ready to bid for MMX, which is
struggling with development of its iron ore mining operations
and a port.
Mexico's IPC index dropped 0.9 percent after data on
Wednesday showed retail sales fell for the first time in three
months in June. On Tuesday, data showed that Mexico's economy
shrank 0.7 percent in the second quarter from the previous three
Shares of mining firm Grupo Mexico fell 2.6
percent, contributing most to the index's decline, while
retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico dropped 1.5 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1545 GMT:
Stock indexes Daily pct YTD pct
Latest change change
MSCI Latam 3,065.44 -1.3 -18.22
Brazil Bovespa 50,724.60 0.43 -16.78
Mexico IPC 41,448.95 -0.9 -5.16
Chile IPSA 3,641.66 -1.23 -15.34
Chile IGPA 18,095.79 -0.96 -14.12
Argentina MerVal 3,878.97 0.73 35.90
Colombia IGBC 13,713.48 -0.05 -6.81
Peru IGRA 16,668.48 -0.08 -19.20
Venezuela IBC 1,274,887.34 -1.18 170.43